Texas Wines Cowboy Up to Wines from Around the World in 2008 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo International Wine Competition

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Texas wines came out of the chute strong at the fifth annual Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo™ International Wine Competition, held Nov. 10-11 at Reliant Center. This year, the competition -- known for awarding its popular prize saddles, belt buckles and chaps rather than traditional wine medals -- attracted 1,969 entries from 606 wineries in 16 countries around the world. In total, 1,544 medals were awarded by 15 panels of judges, including local, national and international wine experts.

Texas wines came out of the chute strong at the fifth annual Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo™ International Wine Competition, held Nov. 10-11 at Reliant Center. This year, the competition -- known for awarding its popular prize saddles, belt buckles and chaps rather than traditional wine medals -- attracted 1,969 entries from 606 wineries in 16 countries around the world. In total, 1,544 medals were awarded by 15 panels of judges, including local, national and international wine experts.

Of those medals, 60 Texas wines received Champion, Reserve Champion and Texas Champion awards. Texas is the nation's fifth-largest wine-producing state with more than 130 wineries in operation contributing approximately $1 billion to Texas' economy.

"The Texas wine industry should be extremely proud of its outstanding performance against very challenging competition," said Texas Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples. "Texas wines more than doubled their success in this year's competition over last year. Once again, these awards let consumers know premium-quality, world-class wines are being made right here in the Lone Star State."

Brennan Vineyards 2006 Viognier won Double Gold Reserve Champion and Texas Champion honors at the 2008 competition, as well as the title of Top Texas Wine for the very first time. Messina Hof Winery in Bryan has won Top Texas Wine for the past four years.

Other Texas wineries awarded Gold Champion and Gold Reserve Champion were:

  •     Bruno & George Candlelight Strawberry Wine: Gold Reserve Champion
  •     Bruno & George Yellow Jacket Raspberry Wine: Gold Champion
  •     Cap*Rock Winery Amarone Della Valpolicella DOC 2003: Gold Champion
  •     Haak Vineyards and Winery Blue Label SemiSweet Blanc du Bois 2006: Gold Champion, Texas Gold Champion
  •     Llano Estacado Winery 2005 Cellar Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon: Texas Gold Champion
  •     Messina Hof Paulo Meritage 2002: Texas Gold Champion
  •     Messina Hof Riesling Father & Son Cuvee 2006: Texas Gold Champion

Buckles, chaps and saddles will be awarded to all champions at the Rodeo Uncorked! Roundup and Best Bites Competition 7 p.m. Feb. 18, 2008. Additionally, all champion wines will be auctioned at the Rodeo Uncorked! Champion Wine Auction and Dinner 8 p.m. March 8, 2008.

All proceeds benefit youth, support education and facilitate better agricultural practices through exhibitions and presentation. The 2007 auction brought in $775,500, with the Grand Champion Best of Show Wine selling for $125,000. From 2004-2007, the auctions have raised a total of $2,599,000.

Please see attached PDF for a complete list of the 2008 Texas winners.

For more information about Texas wines and Show winners, call the Texas Department of Agriculture at (866) 4TX-WINE or visit http://www.gotexanwine.org .

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Jenny Gregorcyk

Jenny Gregorcyk
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